Requiem for a Dream uses a series of non-interactive screens that present transitions between states, usually between normal looking web pages and a layered dark underworld. To choose your path through the story there are little interactive toys that allow two or three choices. As you move deeper into the game, the browser (the entire gameworld) becomes more disjointed and distressed. As you reach the end of each branch you are returned to the opening page to try a different route.

The interaction with the site mimics the film story in that it has three strands, each from the point of view of one of the characters. It is possible to jump between characters, but as we explore more, the screen space becomes disjointed and disrupted. So in essence it is a very straightforward structure, layered with complex and rich imagery that disguise its simplicity.


I once visited this site in the small hours – 1 or 2am – in a dark, warm room. I started browsing in full screen mode to have a more involved browsing experience – the site flickered to life (as it does) and I became deeply engaged with its surreal storyline, until I was truly affected by its scary undertones and disconcerting, subverted messages.

The fact that the screen was somehow invading a very personal space made this experience very powerful. In this receptive context, the strong visuals, the content driven navigation and spatial-ambient sound reinforced a very strong idea.

More work by hi-res

© Timo Arnall 11th February 2002 | email me